GigaOm Radar for Data Catalogsv3.0

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and User Segments
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take
  7. About Andrew Brust

1. Summary

Data catalogs manage the metadata that helps users quickly understand what data is available for their particular application or inquiry. As such, these metadata hubs are essential for democratizing data usage, even as they underpin everything from data governance and data security access controls to data culture and data literacy.

There are two principal trends impacting the importance of data catalog solutions. The first is the increasing distribution of data throughout numerous types of cloud environments, edge applications, and on-premises deployments. With data dispersed throughout so many tools, ecosystems, and formats, the requirements for centralizing the management to sustain the data-driven processes dependent on it are constantly expanding. Thus, the demands on modern data catalog solutions to readily ingest metadata from any number of sources, automate its tagging and descriptions in terms the business can understand, and furnish controlled access to consumers are imperative.

The second development impacting this space is an impending restoration of data catalogs as the acknowledged centerpiece of data governance versus distinct platforms for managing access and permissions. This is typified by the acquisition of data security platforms Okera and Privitar by data catalog vendors Databricks and Informatica, respectively. As a result of this shift, the very scope of the data catalog domain detailed in this report has burgeoned. Catalog vendors are responsible for conventional aspects of data lineage, lifecycle management, data modeling, and data quality as well as facets of data stewardship, data security access controls (role- and attribute-based), and obfuscation techniques like masking and encryption. The very term data governance no longer connotes measures just for ensuring data privacy, regulatory compliance, and data security. It now encompasses the broader—and original—perception of data governance in which these areas were governed with the same metadata hubs for defining data terms, taxonomies, and applicable uses.

Prospective customers must consider the solutions’ utility along each of these dimensions. They must also track catalogs’ incorporation of functionality pertaining to data science, data observability, and generative AI to keep pace with the most pressing trends influencing the data ecosystem as a whole. Vendors that pair these capabilities with core mechanisms fortifying cross-enterprise collaboration, data delivery via a retail-like experience, and constructs that simplify user understanding of what data means and how it pertains to their business goals are detailed herein.

This GigaOm Radar report highlights key data catalog vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating Data Catalog Solutions,” we describe in more detail the capabilities and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

This is our third year evaluating the category space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. All solutions included in this Radar report meet the following table stakes—capabilities widely adopted and well implemented in the sector:

  • Comprehensive data governance
  • Data discovery
  • Data lineage
  • Source connectivity
  • Collaboration tools

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

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